Current and former BBC executives have been under fire from politicians in the U.K. after an inquiry denounced the “deceitful way” that BBC journalist Martin Bashir obtained an interview with the late Princess Diana in 1995. The interview, dubbed one “of the biggest crimes in the history of broadcasting” by Lord Brit, has been blamed on her divorce from Prince Charles, and the misery of her final days by both Prince William and Prince Harry.
BBC director general Tim Davie and two of his predecessors, Tony Hall and John Birt, appeared in front of British Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMSC) on Tuesday to discuss John Dyson’s inquiry.
Referring to the moment he heard William’s criticism of the broadcaster, Davie said: “It was upsetting and it was a sad day.” He added: “I have engaged with the royal household directly.”
Hall said he was “sorry for the hurt caused” by the affair. Hall told lawmakers that “we were lied to [by Bashir] and our trust was misplaced.” In a blistering assessment, Birt called Bashir a “serial liar” and “skilled confidence trickster,” adding that “it’s extremely difficult to catch a fraudster.”
Lord Birt called the episode an “absolute horror story and it should never have happened.”
All three admitted Bashir should not have been rehired.